Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Announcement about Project Octopus & View 5.1

Project Octopus BETA is now available.

To register visit the site

For more details

VMware View 5.1 is scheduled to be released in Q2 of 2012.

The main attractions are as under which were discussed here
  • View Storage Accelerator
    This first feature was originally called CBRC (Content Based Read Cache). This was initially introduced in vSphere 5.0. Although it is a vSphere feature, it is designed specifically for VMware View. With the release of View 5.1, the View Storage Accelerator feature can now be used to dramatically  improve the read throughput for View desktops. This will be particularly useful during a boot storm or anti-virus storm, where many virtual machines could be reading the same data from the same base disk at the same time. The implementation of the accelerator is done by taking an area of host memory for cache, and then creating 'digest' files for each virtual machine disk. This feature will be most useful for shared disks that are read frequently, such as View Composer OS disks. It will be available 'out of the box' with View 5.1; no additional components will need to be installed. This feature will significantly improve performance. More here.

  • 32 ESXi nodes sharing NFS datastores
    This storage feature is also quite significant. While VMware has been able to create 32 node clusters for some time, VMware View would only allow a base disk on an NFS datastore to be shared between 8 ESXi hosts for the purposes of linked clone deployments. View 5.1 lifts this restriction, and now 32 ESXi hosts can host linked clones deployed from the same base disk on a shared NFS datastore. This feature will significantly improve scalability. 
  • View Composer API for Array Integration (VCAI) aka Native NFS Snapshots
    Although this feature is a Technology Preview in View 5.1, it is another cool storage feature of the release. View desktops deployed on VMware's linked clone technology consumes CPU on the ESXi hosts, and network bandwidth when they are deployed on NFS datastores. With this new  Native NFS Snapshot feature via VAAI (vSphere Storage APIs for Array Integration), customers can offload the cloning operation to the storage array, minimizing CPU usage and network bandwidth consumption. Once again this enhanced VAAI functionality was introduced in vSphere 5.0 specifically for VMware View. This feature requires a VAAI NAS plugin from the storage array vendor. Once installed and configured, customers will be able to use a storage array vendor's own native snapshot feature for deploying View desktops. Selecting this new desktop deployment method can be done via standard work-flows in View Composer. More here.
  • Lower Total Cost of Ownership

    Storage Optimization
    New in View 5.1, View Storage Accelerator is a technology that reduces storage loads generated by peak VDI storage reads caching the common blocks of desktop images into local host memory. The Accelerator leverages a VMware vSphere (version 5.0 or later) platform feature called Content Based Read Cache (CBRC) implemented inside the ESX/ESXi hypervisor. When enabled for specific VMs, the host hypervisor scans the storage disk blocks to generate digests of the block contents. When these blocks are read into the hypervisor, they are cached in the host based CBRC. Subsequent reads of blocks with the same digest will be served from the in-memory cache directly.  This significantly improves the desktop performance, especially during boot storms or anti-virus scanning storms when a large number of blocks with identical contents are read. 
  • Simplify Desktop Management and Deployment

    View Persona Management
    To help with physical to virtual desktop migrations, we’ve extended View Persona Management to physical desktops.  This new feature also enables Windows XP to Windows 7 migration. The View Persona Management agent can be installed without the VMware View agent on physical desktops belonging to the same licensed VMware View desktop end-users.

    During a physical to virtual migration, an administrator can first install View Persona Management on the physical desktop. When the same user uses a virtual desktop with Persona Management enabled, user data and settings are automatically synchronized. We also extend Persona Management to support a one-time Windows XP to Windows 7 migration
  • VMware vCenter Operations for View 

    New for VMware View 5.1, we have integrated with our management products to give you VMware vCenter Operations (vCOps) Manager for View.  Optimized for virtual desktop deployments, VMware vCenter Operations Manager for View provides end-to-end monitoring of desktops and users, displayed with user friendly dashboards, to help identify, troubleshoot, and trend potential issues
  • View Administrator Enhancements 

    Some customers deploy VMware View in a restrictive environment in which write access to the Active Directory is prohibited. In this new version of View, an administrator can set a configuration option to reuse existing machine accounts in AD during the provisioning process.

    As the numbers of VMware View deployments grow, our customers are expanding the scale of their View virtual desktop programs. Enhancements made in VMware View 5.1, make management at scale easier. VMware View Composer server in View 5.1 can be installed in a standalone server. An administrator can also configure VMware View Connection Server (via vdmadmin command line tool) to log events in syslog rather than a database.

    Last but not least, View Admin UI response time has been greatly improved in a large-scale environment.
  • View Administrator Language Support To serve a growing international customer base, the View Admin UI is localized to five major non-English languages: French, German, Japanese, Korean, and Simplified Chinese.
  • Create the Best End-User Experience

    USB Enhancements
    We have reworked the USB redirect feature for the Windows client.  The new USB feature no longer requires device driver to be installed on the client side. A generic USB arbitrator is implemented on the client side, while a proper USB hub is implemented in the agent. This allows VMware View to support a much broader range of USB devices while supporting fine-grained remote device policy (e.g. enable/disable mass storage file copy) even on multi-function USB devices.

    RADIUS Support
    Based on customer feedback, we’ve extended the security authentication support in VMware View to other two-factor authentication vendors leveraging a RADIUS client in the View 5.1 Connection Server. This gives you more choice when implementing single sign-on or security tokens into your virtual desktops.

    Continued PCoIP Enhancements
    We also continuously strive to enhance the PCoIP remote protocol following the significant progress made in version 5.0. We realize that optimal remote protocol performance cannot be achieved with code improvement alone. To help our customers make the right choice in protocol with proper performance tuning, we published a white paper comparing the tuning and test results of all state-of-the-art remote protocols:

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